October 16, 2020

Learning to Become Modern-Day Muckrakers in Their Community Made My Students More Engaged, Excited and Independent

To read the entire op-ed by Ife Damon, visit the 74.

Kids are naturally curious. But in the thick of a deadly pandemic and a long-overdue reckoning with systemic racism, my students are also anxious. In a recent survey conducted by Educators for Excellence, teachers reported that their students have many worries right now, including social, emotional and academic concerns.

As I prepare for the new school year — whatever it may look like — I plan to harness students’ curiosity to address those concerns. Through a model known as community-based learning, educators connect what students learn, based on state standards, to what is happening in their communities. More than ever, students need this kind of culturally relevant, standards-based curriculum to meet their academic, social and emotional needs. A recent report by the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program argues that culturally and linguistically responsive teaching helps students become independent learners.

Read the complete op-ed on the 74.